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March 7, 2009

Still more discussion of the costs of the death penalty

There continues to be much life in the reporting of the possibility of costs killing the death penalty.  The AP has this new piece, headlined "In hard times, executions become question of cost," which starts this way:

After decades of moral arguments reaching biblical proportions, after long, twisted journeys to the nation's highest court and back, the death penalty may be abandoned by several states for a reason having nothing to do with right or wrong: Money.

Turns out, it is cheaper to imprison killers for life than to execute them, according to a series of recent surveys. Tens of millions of dollars cheaper, politicians are learning, during a tumbling recession when nearly every state faces job cuts and massive deficits.

Similarly, Chicago Tribune this weekend has this article, headlined "In many states, cost is slowly killing death penalty." Here is a snippet:

Debate over the death penalty has undergone key shifts over the years. During the past decade, the discussion has focused on accuracy and fairness, with exonerations of dozens of Death Row inmates sparking calls for reform and abolition. Now, with the nation's economy slumping, the issue is cost.

Several states, including New Mexico, have introduced measures to abolish the death penalty, many of them citing its costs. In Colorado, a bill would take money usually spent on capital cases and use it to help clear unsolved cases. In Kansas, a legislator wants to use money for capital cases to close a budget shortfall.

In somewhat related news, the Chicago Sun-Times has this new piece, headlined "Death penalty: 10 years since last execution in Illinois; Last state execution was March 1999, but fight goes on to abolish death penalty."

Some recent related posts about death penalty costs:

March 7, 2009 in Death Penalty Reforms | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A victim's perspective on a possible plea deal for Bernie Madoff

This ABC News article provide an effective victim-centered perspective on the developing new that Bernie Madoff may be nearing a plea deal in his prosecution for his record-setting frauds.  The piece is headlined " Calling All Victims: Madoff Expected to Plead Guilty; Criminal Case of the $50 Billion Fraudster Nearing Conclusion," and here are some notable excerpts:

In the government's clearest statement yet that a deal in the criminal case of Bernard Madoff is close to being made, a victims' rights motion was filed Friday evening by the U.S. attorney in the case that indicates Madoff will appear next Thursday in a plea proceeding.

U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin signed an order granting a request that the thousands of victims of the alleged Ponzi scheme will receive online notification of the court proceedings. They will have to periodically check a special web site set up for the criminal case proceedings.

Any victim who wishes to be heard in Thursday's proceeding will need to notify the government by Wednesday March 11th at 10:00 a.m. The internet address for victims to contact is: usanys.madoff@usdoj.gov....

It was reveleaed Friday that federal prosecutors have apparently reached a plea deal with the accused con man, in which he will admit to his role in the biggest financial crime in American history. The deal does not specify how much time Madoff would spend in prison, nor does it exclude the prosecution of Madoff's family or former associates, lawyers familiar with case said.

One former federal prosecutor says he doubts the deal will go easy on Madoff and that the disgraced financier will be spending a long time behind bars. "I doubt very seriously whether there would be any concession by the government as to jail time or diminished jail time for Mr. Madoff," said Sean O'Shea. "Given the sentencing guidelines in a fraud of this type, I think you're looking at a man who is 70 years old, I think you're looking at the rest of his natural life."...

Madoff's investors are not happy to hear the he may cut a deal. 92-year old Zsa Zsa Gabor is one of them. Her husband Prince Frederick Von Anhalt said the couple lost their $10 million life savings to Madoff.

"It's not enough" for Madoff to just plead guilty and go to jail, Von Anhalt told ABC News. "That's what he wants, he wants to go to jail, his life is over. He wants to protect his family, his wife, his children." Von Anhalt also wants to see Madoff's wife, Ruth, and his sons arrested and put in jail. "What nerve she has, to say that she wants to keep all that money. That's our money! Screw her!"

For more details on the possible plea deal, Mark Hamblett at the New York Law Journal has this article, headlined "Madoff Waives Indictment, Set to Plead Guilty."

March 7, 2009 in Celebrity sentencings, Victims' Rights At Sentencing, White-collar sentencing | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 6, 2009

"The Libby Letters: Reflections on Sentencing and Mercy in a Post-Booker World"

The title of this post is the title of a great-looking new article from Professor Scott Sundby, which just showed up here on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Much has been written about the Booker revolution that led to the fall of the mandatory Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  Because the Guidelines had been widely assailed as a rigid system that frequently led to unjust sentences, it comes as little surprise that most of the commentary has been celebratory.  With the judiciary's new found discretion comes the chance to bring mercy back in from the cold after years of exile.

Now, however, the hard work begins. The Guidelines, despite their shortcomings, were instituted in response to a very real problem of disparity in sentencing. The challenge that lies ahead, therefore, is to see if the legal system can accommodate the judiciary's new found discretion without slipping back into a system where a sentence might turn on race, socio-economic status, or the happenstance of which judge is assigned to the case.  In short, while Shakespeare beautifully captured mercy's allure when he penned Portia's famous lines, The quality of mercy is not strain'd, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven, it turns out that giving voice to mercy in the nitty-gritty of a courtroom sentencing is surprisingly difficult.

This Article uses the sentencing of Lewis Scooter Libby to explore the potential difficulties that lie ahead in a post-Booker world. Libby, who was Vice President Cheney's chief-of-staff, was tried and convicted for crimes coming out of his role in revealing that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. Prior to his sentencing, a number of citizens submitted letters to the judge, some arguing that Libby deserved mercy based on factors like long public service, while others stated that justice demanded the most severe sentence possible.  With their refreshingly non-legal perspectives on mercy and justice, these letters offer a rich trove of material for asking what factors warrant leniency. Using the lessons learned from the letters, the Article examines various ways that we might identify what mercy factors should be recognized.  The Article concludes by looking at how judges might exercise their discretion to ensure that the virtue of mercy does not become an unintentional vice by allowing inequality and arbitrariness to creep back into sentencing.

To paraphrase a line from a well-known movie, this article had me at "Libby Letters."  I am looking forward to finding time this weekend (even through we all get one less hour) to review and reflect all the insight that the abstract portends.

March 6, 2009 in Libby sentencing | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A full Friday of criminal law action well covered at TalkLeft

The criminal justice world did not slow down while I spent most of Friday outside the ivory tower and inside a actual federal courtroom on a pro bono matter.  Fortunately, the good folks at TalkLeft had all these posts keeping up with all the biggest criminal law news that's fit to blog:

March 6, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Federal courts becoming more transparent ... will SCOTUS follow?

This AP new article, headlined "Live coverage boosts access to federal courtrooms," highlights the growing tendency of federal trial courts to be more open and transparent even in criminal cases.  Here are snippets from the piece:

In a victory for news technology in federal courts, a judge is allowing a reporter to use the microblogging service Twitter to provide constant updates from a racketeering gang trial this week. It's not the first time online streaming has been allowed in courtrooms, but the practice is still rare in the federal system, especially in criminal cases....

Across the country, tech-savvy federal judges are becoming increasingly receptive to live courtroom media coverage using emerging technologies. Such coverage from journalists reporting from trials in state courts is already common....

Dave Aeikens, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, called [this] decision to allow courtroom Twitter postings "huge" for bolstering public access. "The technology keeps changing," Aeikens said. "How we gather and deliver news to people keeps changing. And the courts need to understand that and welcome that."

I hope the Supreme Court Justices are paying attention and allow for broadcasts of SCOTUS arguments before too long.

March 6, 2009 in Who Sentences? | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Understanding why it may be hard to say sorry

As detailed in some of the links below, there has been a lot of interesting recent discussion of the role of apologies in the criminal system.  Consequently, this new paper on SSRN, titled "Saving Face: The Benefits of Not Saying I'm Sorry," is an important addition to how we come to understand and operationalize apologizing in the law.  Here is the abstract:

This forthcoming article explores the question of why individuals resist apologizing, even when it is rationally in their best interest to do so -- such as when it would significantly reduce a criminal sentence or settle a civil lawsuit at little or no cost. Drawing on a significant body of research by social psychologists on apology, the article posits that individuals primarily resist apology when it poses an intolerable threat to their face -- or their claimed identity as competent, intelligent, or moral persons. In light of this research, the article then critiques the failure of recent laws designed to encourage or compel apology to take face into account.

Some related posts:

March 6, 2009 in Recommended reading | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 5, 2009

Oral argument transcripts in sentencing cases now available

Though it took a while for them both to appear, the oral argument transcripts in the sentencing cases argued before the Supreme Court yesterday (background here) are now available:

March 5, 2009 in Mandatory minimum sentencing statutes | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Notable Second Circuit ruling on interplay of mandatory minimum statutes

The Second Circuit handed down a notable ruling today in US v. Williams, 07-2436 (2d Cir. Mar. 5, 2009) (available here), which address the application of federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes. Here is how the opinion starts:

Leon Williams appeals from a June 1, 2007, judgment of conviction and sentence of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Sand, J.).  Williams was convicted of a drug trafficking crime which carried a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime, an offense which carried a five-year mandatory minimum consecutive sentence “[e]xcept to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by . . . any other provision of law” under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i). In this opinion, we address whether the district court erred in imposing the five-year mandatory minimum consecutive sentence under Section 924(c)(1)(A)(i) even though a greater minimum sentence was provided for the predicate drug trafficking crime.  In United States v. Whitley, 529 F.3d 150 (2d Cir. 2008), reh’g denied, 540 F.3d 87 (2d Cir. 2008), we held that the mandatory minimum sentence under Section 924(c)(1)(A) was inapplicable where the defendant was subject to a longer mandatory minimum sentence for a career criminal firearm possession violation.  We now hold that the mandatory minimum sentence under Section 924(c)(1)(A) is also inapplicable where the defendant is subject to a longer mandatory minimum sentence for a drug trafficking offense that is part of the same criminal transaction or set of operative facts as the firearm offense.

March 5, 2009 in Mandatory minimum sentencing statutes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Singer Chris Brown needs to start studying Califonia sentencing law

As detailed in this AP article, a big celebrity love story has officially become a crime and punishment story:

Chris Brown has been charged with two felonies stemming from an argument with his girlfriend, Rihanna, court documents show.

Brown is expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon on charges of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and making criminal threats. The 19-year-old R&B singer remains free on $50,000 bail.

The felony complaint handed down in court Thursday morning identifies Brown's alleged victim only as "Robyn F." Rihanna's real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.  If convicted, the possible sentence ranges anywhere from probation to four years and eight months in state prison, said district attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.

Of course, MTV.com and E! Online have in-depth additional coverage.

March 5, 2009 in Celebrity sentencings | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Report on the "Capitol Hill crime summit"

I am pleased to see that The Sentencing Project has posted here a report on the "crime summit" that took place earlier this week in DC.  The item is titled "Capitol Hill Crime Summit Attracts Standing-Room Only Crowd," and here is how the report starts:

Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, moderated a panel of experts for “Smart on Crime Policies: Increase Public Safety, Reduce Costs, and Improve Lives,” a Capitol Hill Crime Summit held on March 3rd.  Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, convened the standing room only briefing, which also included panels on Prevention and Intervention, and Reentry and Collateral Consequences.

Mauer opened the “Sentencing and Alternatives” discussion with a question for United States District Court Judge Nancy Gertner, asking about the effect of mandatory minimum sentences imposed by Congress, in taking discretion away from judges.  “I don't know if anyone can understand what it's like to sentence a defendant to a sentence to which you know to be manifestly unfair,” said Gertner.  “We've stopped making meaningful distinctions between offenders.”

March 5, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Opaque Eighth Circuit ruling rejects challenge to long gun-possession sentence

In most published sentencing opinions upholding sentences against a defendant's challenge, a circuit court panel often provides a detailed description of the crime and its aggravating factors.  For this reason, I often get suspicious when I see an opinion like the Eighth Circuit's ruling today in US v. Barron, No. 08-1613 (8th Cir. Mar. 5, 2009) (available here).  The only hint of the nature and circumstances of the defendant's offense of felon in possession comes from this paragraph:

Here, Barron argued in his sentencing memorandum that the district court should impose the same sentence of probation that another district court imposed in United States v. Francis, No. 03-CR-03174 (W.D. Mo. Nov. 28, 2006), because Barron’s offense conduct was similar to that of Francis. See United States v. Francis, 462 F.3d 810, 812-14 (8th Cir. 2006) (describing the relevant facts).  Barron asserted that he, like Francis, had reason to believe that the prohibition on his possession of firearms had ended, and urged that a failure to grant him the same degree of leniency accorded to Francis would cause unwarranted sentence disparity.

But, as the first paragraph of the Eighth Circuit's ruling makes clear, this defendant's sentencing appeal is unavailing:

Charles Barron pled guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).  The district court sentenced Barron to 46 months’ imprisonment, a term within the advisory guideline range of 46 to 57 months.  Barron appeals his sentence, arguing that the district court abused its discretion by failing adequately to consider the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and by refusing to vary from the guideline range because of the “inherent inequity” of USSG § 2K2.1(a)(4)(B), which provides an increased base offense level for offenses involving large-capacity semiautomatic firearms.  We affirm.

Though it is hard to be certain, this ruling gives me the impression that a defendant has received nearly four years in federal prison for being a foolish gun collector.  Maybe my hyper-active Second Amendment radar is a bit out of whack these days, but these kinds of opaque rulings always make me a bit suspicious of what a court has left out of its opinion.

March 5, 2009 in Booker in the Circuits | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Linking education and corrections in battling recidivism

A couple of recent pieces in notable general-interest publications provide yet another opportunity to see the links between effective educational programs and effective corrections programs:

I wish we could make all politicians read these articles whenever they are considering the latest "tough-on-crime" legislative proposal or when they are thinking about what prison programs to cut during these tough economic times.

March 5, 2009 in Reentry and community supervision | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Should Joe Nacchio remain free on bail pending SCOTUS appeal?

This Denver Post article details that former Qwest CEO has been ordered to start serving his prison sentence later this month:

Former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio has been ordered to report to a Pennsylvania correctional facility on March 23 to begin serving a six-year prison term for illegal insider trading.

Nacchio has been assigned to a minimum-security satellite camp at Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution in Minersville, Pa., 46 miles north of Harrisburg. Nacchio, a New Jersey resident, has to report to the warden by noon on March 23, according to an order entered today in Denver federal court by U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger. "Travel will be at his own expense," the order states.

Last week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Nacchio's conviction and revoked his bail in a 5-4 decision. A three-judge appeals panel had reversed the conviction, ruling that the trial judge wrongly excluded expert testimony from a defense witness.

Though I am not an expert on bail pending appeal issues, the fact that a Tenth Circuit panel originally reversed his conviction leads me to think Nacchio could make a solid case for remaining out while he pursues his claims in the Supreme Court.  But, since the en banc Tenth Circuit ruling seemed to demand that Nacchio get started with his prison term, it apparently is going to be up to the Justices to decide whether this notable white-collar defendant will be in prison or still on bail in a few weeks.

UPDATE:  At this post, How Appealing has coverage of, and links to, Joe Nacchio's bail application to the Tenth Circuit.

March 5, 2009 in White-collar sentencing | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 4, 2009

"Renowned Criminologist Joan Petersilia Joins Stanford Law School Faculty"

The title of this post is the heading of this press release from the Stanford Law School.  I usually do not channel my inner-Leiter, but this faculty move is noteworthy for lots of reasons for sentencing fans.  These excerpts from the press release highlight why:

Stanford Law School today announced the appointment of preeminent criminologist Joan Petersilia as Professor of Law. Petersilia has spent more than 25 years studying the performance of U.S. criminal justice agencies and has been instrumental in affecting prison and parole reform in California and throughout the U.S. Petersilia currently serves as Professor of Criminology, Law and Society in the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine, where she directs the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections.

Petersilia is the author of eight books about corrections public policy, and her research on parole reform, prisoner reintegration and sentencing policy has fueled the overhaul of California’s corrections system. As a special advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger since 2003, she helped reorganize juvenile and adult corrections, established a new Office of Research and an Office of Policy and Planning, and worked with the California Legislature to implement prison and parole reform.

A criminologist with a background in empirical research and social science, Petersilia will also serve as faculty co-director for the Stanford Criminal Justice Center (SCJC). She will help SCJC assess policies related to crime control, sentencing, and corrections, and develop nonpartisan analyses and recommendations intended to aid public officials, legal practitioners, and the public in understanding criminal justice policy at the state and national levels.

“As an acknowledged leading expert on sentencing and corrections reform, Joan brings an incomparable understanding of sentencing and corrections policy, which is rapidly becoming one of the most salient topics in the U.S. criminal justice system,” said Robert Weisberg, Edwin E. Huddleson, Jr. Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center.

March 4, 2009 in Who Sentences? | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Lots of death penalty talk in state legislatures ... while Texas keeps up record execution pace

I am having a hard time keeping up with all the death penalty reform legislation making its way through statehouses these days, but here are headlines that seem to capture some of the latest highlights:

It is not clear that all of this legislative activity will likely change the basic realities of death penalty administration in the United States because few of the states talking seriously about reform have a robust capital case docket or death row.  Still, the fact that so many legislators in so many states now feel comfortable talking about reform or repeal serves as another sign of the changing capital times.

Meanwhile, as this AP article details, Texas is about to execute another inmate tonight:

The convicted killer of a Houston man gunned down during a botched burglary was headed to the Texas death chamber Wednesday evening. Kenneth Wayne Morris, whose 38th birthday was Wednesday, was condemned for the 1991 fatal shooting of James Adams, 63....

Morris would be the 10th condemned murderer executed in Texas this year and the second in as many nights to receive lethal injection in the nation's most active death penalty state.... Two more executions are set for next week in Texas.

Texas is on a record pace to break its own modern record for the number of executions in one state in one year.

March 4, 2009 in Death Penalty Reforms | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Ducan Fanfan loses appeal seeking greater crack sentence reduction

Ducan Fanfan — who, in a future "law nerd" version of Trivial Pursuit, will be the answer to the question "What was the name of the defendant in the companion case to US v. Booker?" —  has made some more appellate law news today as a result of the First Circuit's work in US v. Fanfan, No. 08-2062 (1st Cir. Mar. 4, 2009)(available here).  Here is how Fanfan's latest legal loss begins:

After much litigation, Appellant Ducan Fanfan's sentence for a drug offense involving crack cocaine became final.  United States v. Fanfan, 468 F.3d 7 (1st Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1300 (2007).  On July 9, 2008, Fanfan sought an adjusted sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) in light of a subsequent amendment to the guidelines that effectively reduced the guideline range for certain crack cocaine offenders. U.S.S.G. Amendment 706 (effective Nov. 1, 2007). The district court granted this request and imposed a sentence within the new guideline range.  On the same day that the district court allowed his request, Fanfan filed a motion for reconsideration, asking the court to instead impose a variant sentence below the new guideline range based on the district court's Kimbrough discretion.  The district court refused and, in citing another district court decision, United States v. Julien, 550 F. Supp. 2d 138 (D. Me. 2008), indicated that it did not believe it had the legal authority to impose such a variant sentence in the § 3582(c)(2) context. Fanfan appeals this conclusion.  After careful consideration, we affirm.

March 4, 2009 in Implementing retroactively new USSC crack guidelines | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New York getting closer to dropping the rock

The New York Times has this new piece, headlined "Albany Takes Step to Repeal Rockefeller Drug Laws," that suggests that the state's drug sentencing laws are on the verge of real reform.  Here is how it starts:

The State Assembly on Wednesday announced that it has agreed to pass legislation to repeal much of what remains of the state’s 1970s-era drug laws.

The proposal, scheduled to come to a floor vote late Wednesday afternoon, would be the first pivotal step in a push to dismantle the laws that tied judges’ hands and imposed mandatory prison terms for many nonviolent drug offenses.

The Assembly’s proposal restores judges’ discretion in sentencing in many lower-level drug possession crimes. Judges would be able to send many offenders to treatment programs instead of prison without receiving consent from prosecutors. In addition, the measure would permit about 2,000 prisoners to apply to have their sentences reconsidered.

March 4, 2009 in Drug Offense Sentencing | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Federal sentencing statute day at the Supreme Court

Continuing to work through a docket heavy with federal statutory interpretation cases involving sentencing issue, the Supreme Court today hears these two cases (as described here by SCOTUSblog):

First, the Court will hear argument in Abuelhawa v. United States (08-192), on whether a person who uses a cell phone to buy drugs solely for personal use (a misdemeanor) can be charged with the separate crime of using a phone to facilitate the sale of drugs (a felony).  Sri Srinivasan of O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, DC will argue for Salman Khade Abuelhawa. Assistant Solicitor General Eric Miller will argue for the United States.

At 11 a.m., the Court will hear argument in Dean v. United States (08-5274), involving the ten-year mandatory minimum sentence for discharging a gun during a violent crime.  Scott J. Forster of Calhoun, Georgia, will argue for Christopher Michael Dean.  Assistant Solicitor General Deanne Maynard will argue for the United States.

If both cases produce narrow opinions (which is what I expect), it seems unlikely that either case will prove to be a sentencing blockbuster.  But perhaps one or more Justices will see these cases as an opportunity to address federal statutory sentencing issues more broadly.

March 4, 2009 in Mandatory minimum sentencing statutes | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Capital case cost concerns continue to inform reform debate

Today's newspapers show that folks keep buzzing about the economics of the death penalty and using costs concerns as a reason to support reforms.  For example, the Las Vegas Sun has this new article, headlined "Debating the cost of the death penalty," and the Kansas City Star has this new editorial, titled "Ending the burdensome cost of the death penalty."   

And Lance Lindsey, the executive director of Death Penalty Focus, has this new commentary titled simply "We Can’t Afford the Death Penalty." Here is how it starts and ends:

From California to New York, dozens of newspapers are declaring that state governments can no longer afford the death penalty.

The Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C., recently reported that the death penalty is too costly.  Maryland spent $37 million per execution in the past 28 years.  In Florida, home to the second largest death row in the country, the cost estimates are $24 million per execution.  California’s cost is $250 million per execution, according to a Los Angeles Times article cited in the report.  These states are among 36 states that have the death penalty and, like nearly every state, are going through a financial crisis.

The outrageous price that taxpayers bear in order to kill a handful of prisoners has been thrown into sharp relief....

It is utterly irresponsible to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to expand death rows when our schools, our health care, our environment, and everything we value in our communities face a slow painful demise. We must reject as false the choice between public safety and human rights. And we must not give up the ideal that justice without violence and revenge can be achieved in our lifetime.

Some recent related posts about death penalty costs:

March 4, 2009 in Death Penalty Reforms | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Did anyone (or any media) attend the "crime summit" on the Hill?

As previewed in this post, yesterday afternoon there was a "crime summit" organized by Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee, which was to explore "smart on crime" proposals (as this formal announcement explains).  I was hoping that this event might get lots of media attention, especially in the wake of the Pew Center's big report on the scope and costs of criminal justice control in the United States.  But, as of this writing, I cannot find on single traditional (or non-tradtional) media report on the event.

In addition to hoping any "crime summit" attendees will send me a report on the event, perhaps others can opine on whether I ought to be impressed with the ability of this event to be so stealthy.  (Perhaps controversial politicians hoping to avoid continued media scrutiny ought to just start planning crime summits and other criminal justice reform events.)

March 4, 2009 in Who Sentences? | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack